Arsenal are indeed following Axel Disasi, but their primary move for a centre-back is likely to be a permanent deal for Pablo Mari, according to David Ornstein.
Speaking on The Athletic’s The Ornstein & Chapman Podcast, David Ornstein gave updates on the situations with Axel Disasi and Pablo Mari.
On Disasi, fairly reliable reports in recent days suggested Arsenal are in contact with Reims over a transfer. The Ligue 1 club want €15m for a deal, with the Gunners planning talks. Ornstein confirms Arsenal have their eye on the 22-year-old.
“We know central defence is an area that they’re looking to strengthen,” Ornstein said. “In recent days, they’ve been linked with Axel Disasi at Reims. The young French defender who’s only got a year left on his contract.
“It is true that Arsenal have been tracking him over the last year or so – as have many other clubs.”
Permanent deal for Mari?
Despite the above, Ornstein says the more likely deal is Arsenal making Pablo Mari’s loan permanent. The centre-back more closely fits the profile Mikel Arteta is looking for. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t buy both, though.
“I’m not saying I know for sure they won’t look to bring [Disasi] in, but what I do know is that he’s a right-footed centre-half and Mikel Arteta’s preference is to sign permanently a left-footed centre-half,” Ornstein continued.
“As such, I understand that it’s very likely that they’ll make the loan deal for Pablo Mari into a permanent transfer for around £10m…or Euros, they’re about the same now.
“That would satisfy Arteta’s need for the left-sided centre-half, but I’m not exactly sure what else they’ll do.”
It’s worth listening to the podcast in full to get the quotes in context. But it’s no surprise to hear that a move for Mari is the most likely option right now.
No one is going to find negotiations particularly straightforward this summer. Activating an option in a pre-agreed deal like this makes life a lot easier.